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On the one-year anniversary of Katrina, we turn to ANDREI CODRESCU for comment. For two decades he’s been living in and writing about his adopted city. “Katrina was only a storm,” he said recently, “but what followed was so hideous that, one year later, we can only shake our heads — and vomit.” Andrei’s book New Orleans, Mon Amour is an epic love song, a clear-eyed elegy, a cultural celebration, and a thank-you note to New Orleans in its Golden Age.
PLUS: The ex-gay movement: Every year, hundreds of gay men and lesbians join ex-gay ministries in an attempt to convert to non-homosexual Christian lives. Tanya Erzen has followed the New Hope Ministry in Northern California, a Christian Right organization that insists that “change is possible.” Tanya teaches at Ohio State; her book is Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement.
ALSO: BOB DYLAN’s new CD Modern Times was released yesterday — “I am tryin’ to love my neighbor . . . but, oh mother, things ain’t going well.” SEAN WILENTZ will comment; he’s the official historian at BobDylan.com, and was nominated for a Grammy for his liner notes to Bob Dylan Live 1966. PLAYLIST: “Thunder on the Mountain.” “Workingman’s Blues #2,” “Ain’t Talkin’,” “The Levee’s Gonna Break”
More stuff to read: Jon Wiener on the LA Times op-ed page: “Iraq isn’t the Philippines”